Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie with Almonds

Hello! How's your summer going?

I posted this pie on Instagram a while back and had hoped to post the recipe here sooner but my computer has had some serious issues.  I swear there was a Gremlin living inside my computer!  It may have been caused by a nearby lighting strike but it kept shutting itself down and restarting ALL THE TIME.  After 3 trips to the computer doctor I finally have a totally rebuilt computer.  Would you believe it was a problem in the case?  Something about a ground loop if you have any idea what that means. I know I don't.  I could still get my personal emails and search the web on my tablet but I hate doing any kind of lengthy typing on it.  Too frustrating.

So, following the old adage of "Better Late than Never" I bring you Rhubarb-Strawberry Pie!  

My little rhubarb patch has been going strong since spring (probably due to all the cool, rainy days we've had) and I may be able to get a few more stalks before I need to give it a rest for the remainder of the summer so it comes back next spring in good health.  A good rule of thumb is that when the stalks start getting thin you should stop picking.  

I adapted this recipe from my ages-old Betty Crocker cookbook.  It's the very first cookbook I owned and was given to me by my late sister ♥  I added some strawberries and decided to sprinkle the top of the pie with sliced almonds and a little Swedish Pearl Sugar before baking - a delicious combination!  I love the added crunch the almonds give to the pie.

Sadly, rhubarb season and my peas may be ending but Clematis season in my garden is at its peak. Tomatoes and zucchini will be arriving soon, if it ever stops raining. Has anyone else been getting tons of rain this summer? We had almost 2" or rain last night into this morning!

Rhubarb-Strawberry Pie with Almonds

Printable Recipe
Makes one 9" pie (amounts for 8" pie in parentheses)

Rhubarb-Strawberry Filling

1-1/3 (1) cups sugar
1/3 (1/4) cup all-purpose flour
4 (3) cups diced fresh rhubarb
1 (1/2) cups diced fresh strawberries
1-1/2 (1) tablespoons butter

3 (2) tablespoons sliced almonds, for garnish
Swedish Pearl Sugar or regular baking sugar, for garnish

2 crust pastry (recipe follows) or you may use store-bought refrigerated pie crusts

Preheat oven to 425F

Place rhubarb in a large bowl. Mix sugar and flour together and add to rhubarb in bowl. Toss together with rhubarb.

Pour rhubarb mixture into a pastry-lined pie plate and dot with butter. Cover with top crust and make slits in dough. Flute crust edge with your fingers or score with a fork to seal. Sprinkle top with almonds and sugar.

Bake for 40-50 minutes until crust is nicely browned and juice begins to bubble through slits. Cover edge of pastry with strips of aluminum or use a silicone pie crust shield during the last 20 minutes to prevent burning.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pastry for a 9" Two Crust Pie (8" pie amounts in parentheses)

2 cups (1-1/2) cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (3/4) teaspoon salt
2/3 (1/2) cups shortening (such as Crisco)
1/4 (3 tablespoons) cold water, more or less

Measure flour by dip and level method and place in large bowl. Add salt and blend. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until the consistency is like small peas.

Sprinkle flour mixture with water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix with a fork until all flour is moistened. Bring dough together with your hands and press into a ball. Cut into two pieces and form into discs.

On a lightly floured surface roll out dough, one piece at a time, covering unrolled piece with plastic wrap until ready to roll out. Roll pastry about 1-inch larger than the pie plate's largest diameter, about 1/8-inch thick. Fold pastry in half and transfer to pie plate. Unfold and press into place. Fill and cover pie with second piece of rolled dough and follow directions above finishing and baking.

Adapted from "Rhubarb Pie' in my vintage Betty Crocker Cookbook.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Rhubarb-Strawberry Oat Squares

Here is another delicious rhubarb recipe for those of you lucky enough to obtain fresh or frozen rhubarb! It's still rhubarb season here and, if you haven't already noticed, I love rhubarb.

I adapted this recipe from several different oat bar recipes, using what I thought were the best parts of each. Mine has a delicious, crumbly oat crust and topping and is filled with a thickened rhubarb and strawberry compote.  Chopped almonds are added to the oat mixture to give the oats a delightful crunch.

The oat 'crust' and topping are so tasty and you could any filling you prefer such as blueberries, just strawberries, raspberries - or even a jar of preserves or canned pie filling. 

Best of course the day they are made, but I kept them in the refrigerator overnight and they were still delicious the second and even third day after allowing them to come to room temperature.

These squares would be perfect to bring to a picnic or summer pot luck buffet!  They can be eaten with your fingers so no need for a fork.

Can you believe it's officially summer next week? I can't believe the first two week of June are almost over.  Whoa!

Rhubarb-Strawberry Oat Bars

Makes 16
For Rhubarb-Strawberry Filling:

1-1/2 cups diced rhubarb (you may use frozen rhubarb in this recipe)
3/4 cup diced strawberries
3/4 brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
5 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of water to make a slurry
For Oat Crust and Topping Mixture:
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into small pieces (diced)
Tip: To finely 'chop' almonds, place them in a plastic zipper bag and crush them with a large, flat object such as a meat mallet. 

Line an 8 or 9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper.  Cut 2, 8 x 16 inch pieces of parchment paper and press to fit pan, leaving an overhang on both sides to use and handles for lifting (or you may use a non-stick spray). 
To make the Rhubarb-Strawberry Filling:
Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, brown sugar, water and lemon juice in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium.  Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring, until rhubarb is tender. Add the cornstarch/water mixture to the rhubarb-strawberry mixture and cook while stirring for about 2 more minutes or until nicely thickened.  Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350F

Combine the oats, flour, sugars, chopped almonds, salt and baking soda in a large bowl and stir to combine.  Add the diced butter and mix into the oats mixture with your fingers until entire mixture is crumbly and well blended. 
Press half of the oat mixture into prepared pan.  Top with rhubarb-strawberry mixture.  Sprinkle the rest of the oat mixture over the top and press down lightly.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely and remove from pan with parchment 'handles' and cut into squares (cut in half, then in half again on each side). Or ,cut squares in pan and remove individually.